Monday, April 11, 2011

God Hates Truck Stops

I just got back from a quick trip to Nebraska and Kansas. Despite having been there a few times before, I had never performed comedy there.

Keith Lenart (who headlined) and I drove together, and stopped at the world's largest truck stop.

Try not to be jealous!

We also were quite shocked to find that there's actually a trucker museum. Of course, we had to go in. After a quick walk around the antique truck exhibits, I had my fill. I did get a picture of the outdoor sign though.

Our first gig was in Norfolk, Nebraska at a place called TJ's Bar and Grille. I couldn't believe how nice the crowd was. Not only did they not heckle, but they also let me play with them and try new material quite a bit. They also put up with my smack-talking about being able to kick the arcade punching machine. And they were quite cool when they realized I could back up none of said smack-talking.

After much persuading and promises of free beer, I did end up kicking it.

Look at the determination on my face! Kate Brindle don't mess around, yo!

I got a whopping score of 330 (which equals roughly half the score an average toddler gets upon kicking the machine).

The next morning we headed to Kansas, and we made a brief stop in Lawrence.

Have I mentioned how much I absolutely LOVE Lawrence? Like, seriously, I would marry it and bear its children, that's how much I dig the place. There's something about college towns that just makes me happy.

This trip to Lawrence was significantly better than my last time there, when I crashed a wedding in order to avoid a tornado. Luckily, the sun was shining during this go-round, so I didn't have to interrupt any bridal parties in order to take shelter in the basement.

We performed for the weekend at Jeremiah Bullfrog's in Topeka. It's a great little venue that looks like a theatre (complete with stage curtains). I didn't get any shots of the inside, but I did take some of us outside (and with the official frog mascot).

That's Keith and me with DJ Biz, who runs the shows.

During the day on Saturday, we enjoyed the summer-esque heat and dodged screaming children at the hotel's pool.

We also went to see one of Topeka's finest tourist attractions: the Westboro Baptist Church. If you're not familiar with them, their leader, Fred Phelps, could be the mayor of Crazy Town. He's the one who runs the website,, and goes around protesting various events that he feels support "the homosexual agenda."

I was surprised to learn that his "church" is really just his house (complete with tons of security cameras, and a giant banner), which is smack in the middle of a residential neighborhood.

I'm sure his neighbors must absolutely love him.

Keith expressing our feelings about Fred Phelps.

If you'd like more information about Phelps (and you need some laughs), check out my friend, Brent Sullivan's, one-person show (located here) about him.

Nothing terribly exciting happened on the way home, other than us discovering an amazing iPhone app called Gas Buddy, which finds you the cheapest gas in the area. Mr. Buddy worked his magic, and we were able to score it for $3.49 a gallon.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Laughs and Hummus

What a full week I had! I wish I could say I'm currently catching up on sleep, but, alas, I am not. After all, I have important things like doing laundry and downloading the new NKOTB song (and dancing to it) to busy myself with.

On Saturday, my friend (and fellow comic), Mike Evitts, asked me to attend a rally to support funding for Planned Parenthood. The turn-out was quite nice, and I loaded up on feminist t-shirts, stickers and buttons. I was pleasantly surprised to see so many men there. After all, Planned Parenthood offers free and low-cost services for men as well as women. Moreover, if we're going to dismantle patriarchy and strike down laws that seek to control women's bodies and their access to healthcare, we're going to need people of all genders to do it.

After the rally, I headed over to South Haven, Michigan for a gig at the Old Harbor Inn. If you haven't been there before (I hadn't), I recommend taking a trip! It's right on Lake Michigan, and it's quite gorgeous.

This is a view from my hotel room:

This picture doesn't quite do it justice, but I was right on the water. And want to know the best part? My room was literally steps away from the performance venue. When the club owners and bartenders feed you free Long Island iced teas throughout the evening, that's a HUGE bonus.

The show was a lot of fun, and the venue was packed! I worked with Steve Bills, who I always enjoy. Not only do I appreciate his material, but his crowd work never ceases to inspire me. Plus, one of my parents' friends from college stopped by the show, and brought their old college yearbook with him. I was amazed by how much my dad looked like my brother. I can only imagine what's going to happen when my future children get their hands on my yearbook and see what a nerd-alert I was (that's right, I was on the debate team and in the science club, yo!).

On Sunday morning, I headed to the Laugh Detroit Comedy Festival. My good friend, Dave Moroz, puts the festival together, and he asked me if I would volunteer for the week. I jumped at the chance! Not only did I get to meet awesome comics from around the country (and Canada, too), but I also got my own studio hotel suite for the week (note - this beats the crap out of staying in my parents' basement).

I left the festival being exhausted, but completely inspired. It was so wonderful to meet so many new comics, and to also see all of their acts. I also took the Step Up Your Stand-Up workshop with Jeff Singer, and it was definitely the kick in the butt I needed to write more material. It's not that I dislike my material now, but I want to get more personal. More real.

I also ate more hummus than can possibly be good for one human being. You see, Garden Fresh sponsored the festival. So every night, after the shows, we would sit around, drink beer and stuff our faces with Garden Fresh hummus, guacamole and salsa. This, of course, translates to, every morning, I woke up with a tummy ache. But, oh my goodness, it was delicious! I think I need Garden Fresh to sponsor my life.

I didn't take many pictures during the festival as I was so busy. But, Kimberly, the official festival photographer, captured this one of Dave and me (sporting our supa-fly VIP passes):